Mindfulness: finding peace on the grid

By , 17 August 2016 at 17:30
Mindfulness: finding peace on the grid

Mindfulness: finding peace on the grid

By , 17 August 2016 at 17:30

For those of us in the half of the world that’s always on—and online—it’s hard to imagine life without the Net. But that doesn’t mean it’s a healthy lifestyle.

Being constantly online means we often get sucked into the trap of multitasking across multiple tabs on multiple devices that’s anything but productive. Is it even possible to find peace within our connected lives? Today some zen-worthy experts—who are also time-starved entrepreneurs—give us tips on how to be mindful and find peace while staying on the grid.

What is mindfulness anyway?

According to ….. Louise Brace, we are in a constant state of “continuous partial attention” that keeps us stressed and yet still not accomplishing much. Mindfulness has us focusing on “moment-to-moment awareness” and “living in the present, achieving focus and clarity in our daily lives.” There are many exercises that go into this, but Brace—a vacation rental marketer, writer and mompreneur—finds personal affirmations most valuable. Her positive focus points are:
  • I possess the qualities needed to be successful.
  • Creative energy surges through me and leads me to new and brilliant ideas.
  • I am the architect of my life; I build its foundation and choose its contents.
All of us entrepreneurs could benefit from taking the time to compliment and reaffirm ourselves, couldn’t we?

Program ‘Disconnect’ into your calendar

Lisette Sutherland is the director at Collaboration Superpowers, a company that helps teams work together from anywhere. She has literally given the podcast on how to manage always being on. She told Blog ThinkBig, “If you have a hard time turning off work, find an activity you like that distracts your brain and forces you to think about other things. I’ve heard of someone who took up flying for this reason. Personally, I go to the climbing gym. Rock climbing forces me to focus in the moment. It doesn’t matter too much what activity it is, as long as it helps you to “force-quit” the work brain.” I schedule my gym time into my work week and treat it like a meeting with a client that I can’t miss. Making sure you spend time doing physical activity not only makes you more alert and re-focused when you go back online, it is proven to make you happier and healthier.

Stop multitasking!

This is easier said than done, but yoga teacher, massage therapist and entrepreneur Angela Sealy argues that “It’s really not about disconnecting so much as filtering out the noise at certain times of your day so that you can connect with yourself. When we are connected and fully present, our actions come from a centered, thoughtful place.” She went on to say that this of course takes practice but there are small, mindful steps you can do to break this addictive habit of juggling. “My best piece of advice would be to do one thing at a time [and] you will see a huge improvement in your time management. You can start this practice with just one or two things a day—drink your coffee and focus on nothing else but the taste and pleasure you receive while drinking it or walk and fully be present with each and every step. I know it’s hard but think about the amount of time during the day [you spend] switching from one thing to the other and how easily you get side-tracked—have you ever been walking and texting and forgot where you were going? Or who you were texting? That’s what I mean.” OK she does have a point…

Want to disconnect? There’s an app for that.

We can talk about mindfulness all we want but sometimes we just lack the self control to make it happen. This is where again machines can do the work we don’t want to do for us—in this situation turn off all those social networks, games and other distractions for a specific amount of time. These aptly named apps include DisconnectMe and SelfControl, which let you decide which are your dirty little distractions to block. Need even more forced self control than that? iAWriter reverts your computer back into an old-school word-processor, while Freedom was created a relatively long while ago to make sure writers and other creatives are completely offline. Other uses include honeymoons, weddings and funerals.

Don’t forget to make an effort to connect!

Even super-social me gets stuck in the habit of staying online but sometimes totally disconnected from real human contact, like face to face. Meetup CEO Scott Heiferman says that America—and in turn much of the world—is facing a “loneliness epidemic” that is, in part, a result of modern technology. If such an epidemic exists, our increasing willingness to use the Internet to find others who share our passions and interests suggests modern technology just might be part of the solution. With that we recommend you use the Internet to connect via tools like Meetup, so you can disconnect from the Internet and really connect over a beer somewhere soon!

A final moment of zen on the grid

Podcaster, author and Tai Chi online teacher and entrepreneur Paul Read gave us a nice reminder of who we are even when we’re potentially integrating and automating our lives away: Give Up Struggling And Become Who You are. Give up striving for approval, the age of uniformity has died, this is the age of the authentic voice. Give up striving for originality, It’s not where we get stuff from, it’s who we give it to that matters. Give up trying to get somewhere if in the process, you forget where you are. Give up deferring to authority, learn to laugh at it instead. Give up striving for balance, for who wants to end up suspended in the air on a see-saw? Give up Searching and Become who you are. So who are you without being connected? How do you as an entrepreneur find moments of mindfulness in your always-on lifestyle? Comment below or tweet them to @TefDigital and @JKRiggins
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